The Vandals’ women’s basketball team took their second beating of the early season Saturday in Abilene Texas. Idaho watched it’s 13-point lead slip through the cracks as Abilene Christian battled back for an 82-72 win.
Idaho head coach Jon Newlee said in a news release that he thought the team played well in the first half, but no so much in the second.
“The first half I thought we did a good job of attacking, getting to the free-throw line. Doing what we wanted to do. I thought we took some good shots. Defensively, we were keeping them off the free-throw line. They didn’t have a free throw in the first half. Everything was going according to plan. Second half became a tale of two halves. Unfortunately, when you are on the road you have to be able to respond. I felt like we got a little rattled.” Newlee said
The Vandals overcame a 10-point first quarter deficit in the early minutes of the game. The Silver and Gold found themselves getting caught up in Eagle turnovers, leading to a 16-16 game. The Vandals were able to come back together and racked up points. Idaho closed the final three minutes of the first quarter on a 16-3 run to grab a 22-19 lead.
Idaho carried this momentum over into the second quarter. The Vandals expanded their lead to 32-9 by the 3:37 mark of the second quarter. Just when Idaho thought they were in the clear, Abilene Christian threw in five 3-pointers, cutting the Vandal lead down into the single-digits, making the score 43-34 going into the break.
ACU came out of the locker room after the half with a vengeance. Within the first four minutes of the third quarter, ACU cut the Idaho lead down to five to bring the score to 51-46. Idaho went just about four minutes without hitting a single basket as ACU cut the Vandal lead to just two points.
The Vandals’ struggled to break out of their offensive drought in the start of the fourth. Idaho hit just 3-for-14 from the field, while on the other side of the court ACU did not miss. The Wildcats hit 9-of-13 in the quarter. This resulted in ACU outscoring the Vandals 27-14 in the final 10 minutes of play.
Junior guard Mikayla Ferenz and senior post Geraldine McCorkell both hit season-highs for scoring. Ferenz ended the game with 27 points while McCorkell racked up 24.
Ferenz managed to motivate the team majority of the game. As she succeeded, Idaho succeeded. She started the night with a 1-for-6 start and closed the first half 8-for-15. She finished with 18 of Idaho’s 43 first-half points.
Unfortunately for Idaho, Ferenz found herself in foul trouble late in the second half, resulting in her fouling out of the game with minutes left to play. ACU took advantage of a Ferenz-less Idaho and pounced at the opportunity to take the game. The ACU Wildcats went on a 12-2 run.
Newlee said that it really hurt the team having her stuck on the sidelines.
“That hurt us. I keep telling the team, ‘You can’t have bad fouls.’ You cannot put yourself in the position for an official to decide things. She was and it happened. Hopefully, we learn from that and play better next week.” Newlee said.
Idaho will play their next game on the road in the Warner Center Marriott Thanksgiving Basketball Classic hosted by California State University Northridge beginning Nov. 24 in Northridge, California.
Marisa Lloyd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org